HOW RANDOM: COULD LEBRON’S FIRST OFFICIAL LAKER ACT RUIN THE ‘SPACE JAM’ LEGACY?
By Tom Hoffarth
You’re still not 100 percent sure of what motivates LeBron James to pick the Lakers — and Los Angeles — as his next adventure.
Here’s an Associated Press story that helps explain.
See, James and his business partner Maverick Carter have a production company, SpringHill Entertainment, that has a deal with Warner Bros. and office space on the legendary movie company’s lot in Burbank.
David Schwab, an executive vice president at Octagon, a global sports and entertainment marketing and management firm, says the “advantage of an (NBA) market like New York, Los Angeles and Golden State is the ability to have coffee, lunch or dinner daily” with key decision makers. “In a smaller market you don’t get those consistent opportunities.”
Schwab said James’ partners at Warner Bros. and elsewhere are most likely “excited that he’s in Los Angeles as they could possibly use LeBron personally to close business deals with future partners of their own.”
Here’s the deal: James, via SpringHill and his digital film company Uninterrupted, has already brought some projects to light.
Like, “Space Jam 2.”
The idea of James reviving the 1996 movie starring another candidate for greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, has been in circulation for several years. Jordan battled animated aliens alongside Bugs Bunny and his Warner Bros. cartoon buddies. It brought mixed reviews and eyerolls at the time, but has become a cult classic. Justin Lin of the “Fast & Furious” films has been attached as director.
Yet if James were to poll current NBA players about a “Space Jam” sequel, he might not want to start with Patrick Patterson.
In a recent edition of The Players’ Tribune, the 29-year-old Oklahoma City Thunder power forward out of the University of Kentucky has penned a piece headlined: “Please, Please Don’t Make Space Jam 2.”
“For the sake of preserving its greatness, we must never try to improve upon it,” Patterson says. “To make a sequel to ‘Space Jam’ would be like trying to paint the Mona Lisa again. Sure, you can probably do it, but why the hell would you want to?”
Brutal analogy, but he continues: “I think most sports movies suck, particularly the ones that cast athletes in starring roles. It’s just a fact. But for some reason, by using like random aliens as a connector, this film about Looney Tunes characters and an assortment of semiprominent-to-prominent ’90s NBA stars just … worked. It captivated you. It felt like … it actually happened. …
“I know this thing would make money. Kids dig bright fluorescent colors and characters that act silly. It’ll crush $200 million easy. Some things are bigger than money, though. Some things are sacred. I think the rich legacy of ‘Space Jam’ is one of those things.”
So, LeBron, please take this under advisement from your peers before you release this trailer that supposedly exists.
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